Kospi lower after sharp declines in U.S. shares

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Kospi lower after sharp declines in U.S. shares


Korean shares ended lower as uncertainties over U.S.-China trade talks and a weaker growth outlook worried investors. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 13.04 points, or 0.62 percent, to end the session at 2,101.31. Trading volume was heavy at 484.1 million shares worth 4.66 trillion won ($4.19 billion).

“Bearish Wall Street results weighed heavily on Kospi as usual,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities. “Also, growth concerns resurfaced as yields for long-term bonds dropped lower than those of short-term bonds in the United States.”

Foreign investors turned net sellers, offloading a net 196.7 billion won worth of shares. Retail investors bought a net 105.1 billion won, and institutional investors scooped up a net 92.5 billion won worth of shares.

Major electronic shares ended lower, as Samsung Electronics fell 1.66 percent to 41,450 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix retreated 1.16 percent to 68,200 won, and LG Electronics declined 2.05 percent to 71,700 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco was also among losers as it dropped 2.35 percent to 249,000 won.

Auto-related shares were mixed as Hyundai Motor remained unchanged at 107,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors rose 0.49 percent to 30,600 won. Auto-parts supplier Hyundai Mobis fell 1.39 percent to 177,000 won.

Financial shares edged higher as KB Financial Group closed up 0.10 percent to 48,000 won, and Shinhan Financial Group inched up 0.24 percent to 42,250 won.

The country’s leading portal operator Naver ended up 1.21 percent to 125,000 won, and tech rival Kakao rose 0.88 percent to 114,500 won.

Gaming companies rose as NCSoft closed higher 1.12 percent to 498,000 won, and Netmarble rose 0.80 percent to 125,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq also ended the session lower, declining 7.51 points, or 1.06 percent, to close the day at 701.12. The tech and bio-heavy index was weighed down by a 3.80 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index overnight. Foreign investors turned net sellers after three consecutive sessions of buying on the junior bourse.

The Korean won closed at 1,114.10 won against the greenback, up 8.80 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The return on three-year bonds fell 1.3 basis points to 1.90 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds declined 4.4 basis points to 2.06 percent.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]
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